Views about fertility in Amber

We went recently to the village of Amber, about 6 hours north of Addis Ababa, to spend some time listening to people telling us about their attitudes to children, marriage, divorce, sex, abortion and contraceptions. (This is part of G’s work; I went along to listen and learn.)

The most surprising thing to me was that, although this is a deeply religious society, there were no social, religious or other concerns about people using contraception and abortion to limit the size of their family. The concern that people have about the pressure on land of having too many children in the community was far more pressing. The only objections to contraception were (perceived and real) side effects and the practicalities (and cost) of getting it.

More photos here.

3 thoughts on “Views about fertility in Amber”

  1. “The concern that people have about the pressure on land of having too many children in the community was far more pressing.”

    In light of the last post I commented on, I’m tempted to say something cheeky about overpopulation 😉 Actually, I wonder if there is a relationship between farm land population density, and agricultural productivity. With more farmers vying for a share of a given piece of land, it might be harder to co-ordinate the use of any technologies that work via economies of scale (say, a tractor or an irrigation system)*. I know the empirical relationship is that small farms are more productive than large, in poor countries, but I think that relationship is misleading, and has more to do with poorly managed plantation style large farms, than any intrinsic advantages to small scale. That’s just my guess.

    * this article makes a similar argument – although it’s anecdotal.

  2. Too many children? Relative to what? If there are more children, then economic theory predicts more labour-intensive production. Sounds like the desire to use more capital-intensive production–fueled no doubt by WB/IMF loans–is used to justify killing children in the womb, and the locals have bought this argument.

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